Brookfield's boys' varsity basketball team's season came to a bitter end Tuesday night with a 57-54 loss to Lathrop in the opening round of the Class 3 District 16 tournament.

The contest was close throughout, but the Mules took advantage of two key three-point plays late in the contest and held on for the win.

Trailing by two, Hayden DeJong tied the game with a short jumper, and Bryson Shoop followed with a floater in the lane, giving the Bulldogs a 50-48 lead with 1:59 remaining.

The lead was short lived however, as the Mules responded with a three, and following a Brookfield turnover, added a layup and one on the foul.

The 'Dogs missed a chance to draw within 54-52, but missed on two free throws, forcing them to foul down the stretch. With the opportunity to put the game away, Lathrop only managed one made free throw on each of the two trips in the double bonus. Meanwhile, DeJong banked in a short jumper, and Phoenix Jordan pulled the 'Dogs to within two, 56-54, with a driving lay-in with 20.5 on the clock. Another intentional foul put the Mules on the line with a chance to put the game on ice, but again they could not capitalize, making just one charity toss and giving Brookfield a shot to tie. But it wasn't to be, as DeJong's final-second three attempt caught the front iron.

Hayden DeJong (5 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists) scored a game-high 22 points, and Hank Parks (5 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists, block) added 14 points (four threes) for the Bulldogs, who shot 48% from the floor. Kendrell Carter (8 rebounds, 2 steals) collected nine points, while Bryson Shoop (4 rebounds, 2 steals, assist) had seven points, and Phoenix Jordan chipped in two points. John Walgren had five rebounds, four assists and a steal, and Ross Ehrich pulled down a board.

The Bulldogs, who played their best basketball during the final weeks, end the season at 8-17.

-Dennis Hughes
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